Published: 12.09.11| Updated: 12.09.11
DENVER – “As the largest family planning provider in the state, serving approximately 90,000 women, men, and teens across Colorado each year, we are deeply saddened that the Colorado Reproductive Health Medicaid Waiver application has been withdrawn thereby denying a significant portion of Colorado’s low-income population access to essential health care.
“Fifty-seven percent of our clients who pay out-of-pocket for their health care needs are at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. This waiver would have granted that client base, in addition to thousands of Coloradans age 19-50, access to family planning services under Medicaid.
“According to the Guttmacher Institute, since the mid-1990s, 22 states had implemented a program to extend Medicaid coverage for family planning services to residents on the basis of income, regardless of whether they meet other requirements for Medicaid coverage, such as being a low-income parent. Family planning services have been proven to help women more effectively and consistently use contraception, reduce STDs while increasing STD screening, increasing cervical cancer screenings and reduced unintended and teen pregnancy rates. These benefits, quite simply, make communities healthier and help women have healthier families.
“Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains strongly supported the legislation that authorized this waiver in 2008 which had bi-partisan support. We have worked with state agencies, advocacy groups, and other providers over the last three years to assist with planning for the implementation of the waiver. While we are disappointed that the waiver is not going to continue down the road we had envisioned and hoped for, Planned Parenthood will continue to be here for the women, men, and teens who count on us for affordable essential health care.”
Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains empowers individuals and families in the communities we serve to make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health by providing high quality health services, comprehensive sex education, and strategic advocacy. More than 123,000 women, men, and young adults annually visit our 28 health centers throughout Colorado, New Mexico, Southern Nevada, and Wyoming. Since 1916, we have been the region’s most trusted provider of reproductive health care. For more information about Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, call 1.800.230.PLAN or visit pprm.org for the health center nearest you.